Dr Philip Smith
Spotlight on men’s health
Words by Janie Barton | Photo by Catherine Coombs
The team of specialists at Northern Urology are on a mission to help improve men’s health in Far North Queensland.
Specialising in the areas of incontinence, erectile dysfunction, prostate issues and pelvic cancer in both men and women, the team utilises the latest research and best practice treatment methods to help patients achieve the best outcomes for their ongoing health and wellbeing.
A new Healthy Man Check by urology nurse practitioner Marco Hake is now being offered at Northern Urology, and patients do not need to be referred by their doctor for this check.
“Marco will complete an all-over systems review health check to make sure everything is in order and refer on to a specialist if necessary,” Dr Smith said. “As a Urologist I deal a lot with prostate cancer and one of the things we need to do is encourage men to have an evaluation for early diagnosis.” Dr Smith suggests men have their first check when they are 40 to identify any problems early.
Another initiative put in place at Northern Urology is to help men deal with erectile dysfunction. “It’s a stigmatised condition, but men are slowly becoming more comfortable talking about it,” Dr Smith said. “There’s a specific disease called Peyronies disease, which is when men develop scarring in the penis and it turns to a right angle during an erection. It’s a common condition that we see a lot, and there are treatments available without requiring surgery.” To aid in the treatment, Northern Urology has recently become a licensed user of a treatment called Xiaflex, which treats the disease without surgery.
“It’s a stigmatised condition, but men are slowly becoming more comfortable talking about it”
In addition to the new Da Vinci surgical robot, Northern Urology is also bringing two new treatments to Far North Queensland. Urolift and Rezume are day surgery procedures that aid in the treatment of urinary problems created by enlarged prostates. Almost half of men aged 50 suffer urinary problems caused by enlarged prostates. These treatments are minimally invasive, preserve all aspects of sexual function and have little to no side effects.
“I think the physical ailment that men might have in terms of sexuality and penile issues can affect their mental health,” Marco said. “A good open discussion about these things and the treatments available can certainly relieve a lot of their anxiety.”
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